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December 6, 1890

HAS PROGRESS BEEN MADE IN THE MEDICINAL TREATMENT OF TYPHOID FEVER?Read in the Section of Practice of Medicine, Materia Medica and Physiology, at the Forty-first Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, at Nashville, Tenn., May, 1890.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1890;XV(23):809-813. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410490001001

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Almost semi-annually the medical public is treated to announcements of new remedies that are either infallible cures for, or at least very largely diminish the death-rate in many diseases, most notably, continued fevers. At once the enthusiasts rush into the field of experience and soon medical journals teem with reports of successes, beyond expectation from every quarter. These reports grow less and less favorable. The roseate hue disappears, and soon opposite reports begin to fill the pages of the same journals and finally the pendulum swings to its furthest point and begins to return.

The result is a few advocates of the theory remain; but the large majority, disappointed, return to their old modes of treatment. The question naturally arises : Cui bono? Does good result from such experimental work ? I answer promptly, "Yes." Again and again a new and plausible theory is advanced to take the same course just outlined,

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